Literature: Save The Pearls
Save The Pearls is a two-book young-adult series written by American author Victoria Foyt, about a post-apocalyptic dystopian future in which black people have taken over and white people are a persecuted minority. The first book in the series, Revealing Eden, was published in 2012. The second book, Adapting Eden, was published in 2013.
This series provides examples of:
- Artistic License – Biology: In the post-apocalyptic world in which the books take place, the Coals have become the majority because they have more melanin, and thus have more resistance to the sun, and an innate resistance to skin cancer ("the heat"). While it's true that darker skin does give increased protection from the sun, the author tends to treat it as a blanket immunity, which is an attitude that in real life has lead to preventable deaths when cancer isn't recognized as early in people of color as it would have been for white people.
- Blackface: Because of the prejudice against them, the Pearls resort to wearing blackface in public in order to try and fit in. At one point, the reader is told about a minstrel show wherein the performers wear "white face".
- Broken Aesop:
- The series is ostensibly a fable about the foolishness of racism, set in a world where an environmental catastrophe has left melanin content as a prized thing, with blacks on top and whites on the bottom, with an interracial romance to drive home the point. What it is, however, is a series where white people are called "Pearls" and blacks are called "Coals," the white female lead starts off severely uncomfortable around black people (to the point of using slurs like "haughty Coal" in inner monologue), white people often wear blackface to "pass," the white lead is threatened with rape at the hands of a giant black man, and the love story is described as a "Beauty and the Beast" fable where the black love interest literally turns into a beast thanks to genetic engineering.
- Also in regards to Bramson, his being turned into a chimera is treated as him having a chance to understand what it's like to experience being a social pariah...except that he was one of the most fair characters in the cast (protecting Eden multiple times from black people trying to kill her, hiring a white woman for a good position as stewardess of his private jet after her husband died in Branson's service, etc). Eden is the one who constantly misconstrues his actions as having ulterior motives.
- But Not Too Black: One of the many, many reasons that series fell down flat on its face with its message about the pains of racism. So it's far in the future, blacks are on top culturally, whites are on the bottom, and as a result, the standards of beauty lean black... and yet when white girls "pass" as black (using, yes, exactly the means you think they do), they've still got some pretty damn straight hair.
- Hollywood Science: The premise relies heavily upon a poor understanding of how things like solar radiation, and gene splicing work.
- Persecution Flip: In the post-apocalyptic future presented in the books, the white minority ("Pearls") are oppressed by the black majority ("Coals") after ozone depletion kills off people with low melanin. The pearls have to wear blackface in public. The author, incidentally, is white.
- Vanity Publishing: The only way a book like this could ever get published.
- Well, technically it's not vanity published since she owns the publisher.note